When the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was created 25 years ago, it was supposed to combat violence against women and girls and protect them from harm and abuse. Yet, it does NOT seriously address or deter some of the worst forms of violence against women: Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), child marriage, sex trafficking, and honor killings, all of which are a growing problem in the United States today.
Neither the House passed bill nor the current law do enough to protect women and girls from some of the worst forms of violence against women. And women deserve better. That’s why we need your help urging your senators to pass a more comprehensive, accountable, and transparent VAWA.
Given the nature and history of these horrific, monstrous acts, it is critical that we provide protection for survivors and those most at risk, raise awareness of the threats, and educate the public on these heinous practices.
It’s been almost a year since Congress was supposed to reauthorize VAWA but didn’t because politicians were playing politics and trying to be politically correct. Politics and political correctness should never take precedence over protecting women and girls, particularly when the consequences are mutilation, rape, and murder.
We must demand that the reauthorization of VAWA include better protections from FGM, child marriage, sex trafficking, and honor killings. We must urge the Senate to include severe penalties, training in schools, a hotline, safe homes, and a no-fly list inclusion for perpetrators. And we must require greater accountability and transparency of VAWA funding, to prevent funds from being diverted for partisan purposes and to ensure that women and girls are best served.
The first job of government is to ensure the safety and security of all its citizens. Our young women and girls are facing serious threats, and they need dedicated help from their government.